The Situationist International defines a constructed situation as
‘A moment of
life, concretely and deliberately constructed by the collective organization of unitaryenvironment and the free play of eve
A situation, collectively designed and
executed, has to be lived by its constructors, the role of the ‘public’ or expectators
diminished in favor of total participation.
This type of action will resistconmodification and has emancipation as its ultimately goal. For the Situationists, artand politics can not be separated.
Jaques Ranciere does not propose a strategy for art’s relationship with
society, but focuses inste
ad on the aesthetics of politics. ‘The politics of works of art plays itself out to a larger extent […] in the reconfiguration of worlds of experience based on which police consensus or political dissensus are defined’
. Interventionconsidered in the light of this concept becomes a more general process.
In his works, Mexican-based Belgium-born artist Francis Alÿs (1959-) oftendeals with social and political aspects of contemporary life. Alternative economies,borders, the relationship between poetics and politics, the failed promise of progressand the excessive effort relative to result in much of Latin American life are some of the issues he explores in his works.
The Green Line: Sometimes doing something poetic can become political,and sometimes doing something political can become poetical
(2004), Alÿs walkedJerusalem dripping green paint from a can along the internationally recognized east
border of Israel, known as ‘the green line’. This was the border set after the Arab
-Israeli war in 1949, but overrun by Israel in 1967. Following the line as still drawn onmost international and Palestinian maps and a few Israeli ones was not possible
Situationist International, ‘Preliminary Problems in Constructing a Situation’
The Politics of Aesthetics,
London; New York: Continuum, 2006,p.65
Mark Godfrey (ed.),
Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception
, London: Tate Publishing,2010.